A brand new season has finally come to sweep me off my feet. After an especially wearying winter spring has come to me like a dancing partner, starting off with a few subtle and sneaky steps before swinging me into a fever pitch of spin and color and love. I truly feel like Persephone risen from the underworld. I walk and find the pilewort (Ficaria verna), the squill (Scilla spp.), and the sweet glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa forbesii) at my mudbooted feet. Dandelion’s manes are starting to roar gloriously onto sidewalks and I’ve seen some of chickweed’s stars. And when I occasionally take the time to look up I’m rewarded by more constellations, this time of cherry blossoms awakening and the fuzzy buds of magnolias bursting to a blushing white. The world is wet and infused with the words of E. E. Cummings: mud-luscious. Puddle wonderful.
This is a big transition year for us. After two years in Dracut we are delighted to be moving our operation to Canton, MA. My husband Matt, who became my business partner in the fall, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have our work and dear plants so much closer to our Hyde Park home. While I had the pleasure of listening to a panoply of very fine audiobooks, podcasts, and Beyoncé albums, I am So Ready to not have to drive an hour (or more!) to get to the farm.
Creating and nourishing and endlessly working at my own farm has been the closest I’ve come to feeling like a parent. Elizabeth Stone wrote that to have a child is “to have your heart go walking outside your body.” I can relate. I don’t want my weary little heart growing all the way up by the New Hampshire border while I’m trying to sleep in Boston and wondering what on earth is happening with the bee balm and the boneset. Ten minutes is still too far, but it’s close enough that I can almost feel my little muscle beating among all the green life of comfrey and tulsi and rose.
I say that, but everything’s still up in Dracut. Our new land was used for decades as a hayfield and then let fallow for a while after that, so we had to have a farmer with fancier equipment than ours plow it deeply to break up years of compaction and piles of stone. Today we lime it, because holy smokes it’s acidic, and then our man Charlie (who always ends phone calls with “toodle-oo”) will return to disc it. We’ll wait a few weeks for the grasses and wildflowers that Charlie tilled in to break down and for the lime to get cozy with our soil’s chemistry and then we’ll finally be able to start moving truckloads (upon truckloads) (upon truckloads) (upon truckloads!) of our plants to their gorgeous new home, and old and esteemed estate full of wild woods, formal gardens, and a bona fide mansion. And the sowing! Oh the packets we have of wee little lives so ready to sprout right in our field. Poppies, love-in-a-mist, calendula, cosmos, sunflowers, fenugreek, Japanese chrysanthemums you can eat in your salad, and so many more, tucked into their little paper packets and hungering for the water and the light.
But for now the robins in our yard trees have finally begun singing and while I went to bed right after dinner I’m realizing I could do with a bit more sleep before the new day’s work begins again. Until next time I hope that your dearest dreams for this season blossom into a beautiful truth.